Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Social Welfare has taken a significant step towards improving the lives of its most vulnerable citizens with the launch of its five-year strategic plan (2024-2028).

The plan was unveiled at a ceremony held at the Sierra Palms Resort in Freetown, with Chief Minister David Moinina Sengeh and Minister of Social Welfare Melrose Karminty in attendance.

In her statement, Melrose Karminty, Minister of Social Welfare spoke on the importance of launching their strategic plan, describing the occasion as a significant milestone in their commitment to serving the people of Sierra Leone which has been their greatest priority.

She said the strategic plan is important in guiding the ministry’s work towards achieving its goal as well as revealing that the plan is the result of hard consultation and collaboration with their distinguished stakeholders and reflects their unwavering dedication to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of different societies.

She said the strategic plan builds on the gains made over the years by the government with the support of partners while seeking to accelerate the delivery of a transformative social welfare system to reduce multidimensional poverty and distress, adding that, the plan is in line with the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, the Medium-Term National Development Plan, the MTVP 2024–2030, and the government’s currently developed roadmap, the BigFiveGameChangers, which aim to accelerate economic growth and resilience among others.

She maintained that, her ministry will be focusing poverty reduction through women’s economic empowerment, child protection and development, empowering persons with disabilities, and social security for the most vulnerable members of society, including the elderly, widows, returnee migrants, deportee victims, survivors of humantrafficking, and survivors of disasters among many other related sectors.

In his keynote speech during the launch, Chief Minister Sengeh thanked and appreciated the work of the Minister and other workers at the ministry and other partners to finalize the strategic plan. He said the plan exemplified how government works or how effectively government should work in the achievement of greater goals in commanding a sustainable development.

He said the strategic plan has been situated within the broader government delivery mechanism, which squarely focuses on the future, adding that he was wishing and hoping other ministries, departments, and agencies that develop strategic plans, adding that the plan builds on the gains made over the years by the Government with the critical support of partners.

He acknowledged that, the success of this plan depends not on one person alone but a concerted effort by all MDAs. He encouraged partners to work with the ministry, within the development activities that they do and within the budget support that they provide, where they need to identify and map them for social welfare.

He said that the launch of the plan is a testament that the ministry and the government have taken steps to draw this line and commit themselves to what they will do every year until 2030. He assured the minister and her team that the government stands with them, will support them, and will make sure that they invite everybody, not just governments, development partners, and NGOs, but also citizens, to be involved, including the private sector. He also highlighted other areas and sectors the government is working in to improve the lives of citizens, especially the most vulnerable.